Solid-state and inorganic materials chemistry for renewable energy
All-solid-state batteries hold the potential to transform our energy infrastructure to the next generation of safe and energy-dense energy storage technologies. Yet, replacing current liquid-based technologies with all-solid-state batteries is hindered, in part, by the solid electrolyte. Many solid electrolytes are electrochemically unstable with desirable electrode chemistries and exhibit slow ion conduction that limits practical battery cycling rates. Our research aims to use targeted materials discovery and design to influence ion conduction mechanisms in the solid state to identify new candidate solid electrolyte materials.
Maintaining a comfortable building environment through air conditioning and heating contributes substantially to the energy costs of buildings. Modulating the transmission of IR light through windows presents an opportunity to cut down on these costs substantially. Smart "chromic" materials – e.g., electrochromics, piezochromics, photochromics, and thermochromics – reversibly switch between states in which they are transparent or opaque to certain wavelengths of light upon application (or removal) of an external stimulus. Our research is focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of this switching behavior to develop materials design principles for the next generation of smart windows.